Hatfield Web Hero Image

Dr. Jennifer Hatfield, PhD'01

Arch Award Recipient - International Career Achievement Award 

The UCalgary Alumni Arch Award for International Career Achievement honours those whose international career accomplishments have brought distinction to themselves, credit to the university, and real benefit to their communities. 

The modern-day leader is characterized by the ability to relate and continuously learn from the large ecosystem that surrounds them. It is then imperative in an ever-changing global stage for one to be humble enough to recognize that it is diversity of knowledge and thought, rather than the simple gathering and confirmation, that will lead to enlightenment.

Our 2023 International Career Achievement Award recipient, Dr. Jennifer Hatfield, PhD'01, is an internationally recognized adviser and global health scholar with a deep understanding of the diverse global health eco-system. Dr. Hatfield’s accomplishments are seen in countless ways, from international activities and guiding Canadian best practices, to the halo effect of influencing and supporting faculty and students as they engage with global leadership. 

“Dr. Hatfield is a researcher, educator, and leader in global health with a focus on public health, gender, and maternal and newborn child health in low- and middle-income countries.” says nominator Dr. Dianne Mosher, PhD. “She tirelessly advocates for equitable partnerships, knowledge translation, mutual capacity-building, ethics and cultural competency, influencing those she mentors and works with to live by example.”

Dr. Hatfield has dedicated herself to promoting scholarship in global health research governance that centres ethical and equitable partnerships and principles. Through the Cumming School of Medicine’s Global Health and International Partnerships program, Dr. Hatfield created Leaders in Global Health Tomorrow, which has supported emerging international experts in public health and the basic sciences. This program, which supports individuals in centering a partnership-first lens of ethics and equity, fosters future policy-makers to be mindful and embody servant leadership, as Dr. Hatfield has been influenced by. This style is developed not through establishing oneself as a source of expertise, but by fostering it in others — creating a culture of trust, self-awareness, humility and diversity of thought.

Many of these emerging talents have gone on to influence policies and practices to guide University of Calgary faculty and students in their international work. They have also taken up roles as preceptors with Bachelor of Health Science, veterinary medicine and graduate students in the international field schools, providing vital cultural training and an appreciation for diversity. These principles embody continuous learning, and an understanding that, in an ever-changing world, wherever one might be, we are all learning, — and learning together.

“Some people are unaware of how deeply interconnected we all are as a global heath community.” says Dr. Hatfield, adding that one of her major influences in internationalizing so many UCalgary programs came from “A profound belief that, to be a respectful, compassionate global citizens, we need to truly immerse ourselves in cultures and perspectives very different from our own.”

Because of Dr. Hatfield’s innovative approach to field schools and research opportunities, UCalgary students in multiple faculties have travelled to complete programs in Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Nicaragua and Mongolia. They have collaborated with and learned from students in their group across faculties, faculty members, and community members in each country to address issues such as maternal, newborn and child-health issues; parasite infections among livestock in pastoral communities; and health promotion. Students come away from each experience with improved cultural competency, increased adaptability to changing circumstances, friendships, new perspectives and, in some cases, a clearer outlook of their career path, all of which are just some of the many benefits of experiential learning. While it took place in a global setting, the principles of partnership experienced by the students apply to their local, interdisciplinary cohort just as much as it did to their understanding of ethical and equitable international experiences. Dr. Hatfield’s continued dedication to these experiences has fostered respectful and reciprocal partnerships for UCalgary.


Dr. Jennifer Hatfield

Attend Alumni All-Access

As in previous years, the Arch Awards kicked off Alumni All-Access (Oct. 12 to Oct. 22, 2023). Everyone is welcome to join in on ten days of amazing events to discover new ideas, explore what UCalgary has to offer and have fun! 


Many years ago, Lorne Jaques (UC International) invited me to work on a United Nations project focused on leadership development for young Afghan professionals. Through this remarkable experience, I was introduced to the values and practice of servant leadership. Servant leadership is characterized by courage, humility, self-awareness, encouraging diversity of thought, creating a culture of trust and fostering leadership in others. I have been profoundly influenced by the extraordinary servant leaders I have had the privilege to know.

Dr. Jennifer Hatfield, PhD'01

Getting to know Dr. Jennifer Hatfield

Was there any particular moment that stands out for you with the University of Calgary?
So many moments when a door was opened, and I walked through it. The day I was asked to go to Afghanistan in 2003 to work on a research project with Billie Thurston on domestic violence and health policy. This was life-changing.

The moment I was asked by Benedikt Hallgrímsson to travel to Tanzania to create a field school for our BHSc students. This resulted in the development of a partnership with wonderful Tanzania colleagues that grows stronger every year. And many more…

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
My family all around me, smiling and laughing.
What is your greatest fear?
Forgetting how to be fearless.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
A reluctance to party.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
The belief that it is OK to bully.
Which living person do you most admire?
Sadiqa Basiri, a young Afghan woman who I met in Afghanistan in 2003. She grew up in a refugee camp and committed her life to improving access to university education for disadvantaged men and women in her country. She just completed a leadership-development course at Harvard and is working on her PhD focusing on education innovations in post-conflict situations. Her goal is to return to Afghanistan and rebuild her country.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Fortnum and Mason Royal Blend tea.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“It is more complex than we think.”
When and where were you happiest?
The birth of our children and grandchildren.
Which talent would you most like to have?
To speak Swahili well!
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would be at ease with being very silly.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Using the opportunities I have been given to support the strength and talent in others.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
A golden retriever that runs like the wind.
Where would you most like to live?
In the moment.
What is your most treasured possession?
Constant gratitude.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
“Identify” is way to too strong… admire, perhaps…St. Teresa of Avila. Definitely not the “Saint” part, but the devoted leader of women part….
Who are your heroes in real life?
Front-line health workers and those working with the most vulnerable in our society.
What is your greatest regret?
No regrets, just grateful to learn from my many imperfections.


These incredible alumni are changing the world with vision and purpose. Meet the 2023 Arch Award recipients.